News

GOVERNMENT TO APPEAL SCHOOL FUNDING RULING

The Government of Saskatchewan will appeal...

Released May 17, 2017
The Government of Saskatchewan will appeal last month’s Court of Queen’s Bench ruling on separate school funding.
To continue reading, please go directly to the Saskatchewan Government's website: Click HERE


 Please see the following information shared in Tagalog to support our families:
*English translation is below

Mga minamahal na  magulang o tagapatnubay ng mga mag-aaral ng Lloydminster Catholic School Division,

Noong nakaraang April 20, 2017 , batid ng karamihan na ipinag-utos ng isang hukom  na  hindi na popondohan ng Gobyerno ng Saskatchewan  ang mga hindi Katolikong estudyante sa mga Catholic schools simula sa June 30,2018. Ito ay  nagdulot ng agam- agam o pagkabahala sa mga estudyante , mga magulang, manggagawa at miyembro ng komunidad ng Catholic schools.

Kami sa LCSD ay nanatiling bukas sa pagtanggap sa lahat ng mga pamilya (Katoliko man o hindi) na pinili ang Katolikong edukasyon para sa  kanilang  mga anak.
Ang Lloydminster Catholic School Division ay naniniwala na ang mga Catholic schools ay may karapatan tumanggap ng mga hindi mga katolikong estudyante at magtalaga ng aming sariling patakaran sa pagtanggap o hindi  ng mga estudyante, upang mapanatili  namin ang tunay na kahulugan ng  'faith based Catholic school system o sistema ng katolikong edukasyon base sa pananampalataya.'

Ang aming pananampalataya ay isang paglalakbay na ibinibilang ang mga hindi katoliko at ang paglago ng mga katolikong miyembro.

Ito ay nangangailangan ng pagbubuklod at bukas  na pagtanggap sa lahat.

Ang  kasong ito ay isa lamang desisyon tungkol sa pondo, at hindi ibig sabihin na hindi na maaring pumasok o mag aral ang mga hindi katolikong mag-aaral sa mga Katolikong escuelahan.

Ang Gobyerno ng Saskatchewan at ang mga school divisions  na apektado dito ay umaapila sa  desisyon  na ito ng korte. Maraming taon pa ang gugugulin bago pa ito maipasa at mapagpasyahan.

Ang Gobyerno ng Saskatchewan ay gumawa din ng hakbang at panukala na hindi pinahihintulutan na maapektuhan ng desisyon na ito ang mga eskwelahan sa loob ng limang taon (5 years)at maaaring iapila pa ito ng marami pang  taon kung kinakailangan.

Sa madaling salita, walang dapat  ikabahala o ipag-alala ang mga magulang  sa pagpasok ng inyong mga anak sa susunod na taon kung gustuhin ninyo mang  sila ay manatili sa Catholic Education.

****************************

The English version of what is shared above is included below:

Dear Parents/Guardians of Lloydminster Catholic School Division students,

On April 20, 2017, a judge ruled that the Government of Saskatchewan could no longer fund non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools in Saskatchewan, starting June 30, 2018. This ruling has created some degree of uncertainty for many students, parents, staff and other members of our Catholic school community.

We remain a welcoming community, and our doors continue to be open to all families who choose a Catholic education for your children. The Lloydminster Catholic School Division shares the inclusionary beliefs held by the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association: “Catholic school divisions believe we have the right to decide to admit non-Catholic students and to determine the extent to which their admission allows us to maintain a truly authentic faith-based Catholic school system. Our faith is a journey that includes inquiry of non-Catholics and growth of existing members. This requires inclusion and a welcoming spirit.” This court case and decision is about funding only; it does not state that non-Catholics cannot attend Catholic schools.

The Government of Saskatchewan and the school division involved are appealing this ruling. It will be years before this is settled. The Government of Saskatchewan has also said they are enacting a clause that does not allow this ruling to affect schools for at least 5 years and this clause can be reinstated as many times as the government decides is necessary. 

In summary, please do not be concerned about the attendance of your children next year if you continue to choose Catholic Education.

 


Message from Paula Scott to LCSD Parents & Guardians, May 2, 2017

Dear LCSD parents/guardians, staff and community members,

Once again, I write to you with significant news. On April 28, the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) announced that an appeal of the recent decision in the Theodore court case will be filed on behalf of Christ the Teacher School Division. The decision to appeal has been unanimously endorsed by all eight Catholic school boards in the province, including the Lloydminster Catholic School Division. 

“The legal team representing Christ the Teacher School Division in this case has carefully reviewed the trial judge’s lengthy decision, and we believe that there are several strong grounds for appeal,” said SCSBA spokesperson Tom Fortosky.

On May 1, Premier Brad Wall announced the Government of Saskatchewan will protect school choice in Saskatchewan by invoking the notwithstanding clause of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In a news release, Premier Wall said. “We wanted to announce this now to provide clarity and provide parents with the assurance that they will be able to continue to choose the kind of school they want their children to attend.”

The government’s decision does not lessen the need for an appeal. A successful appeal would overturn the decision. This is very good news for you as parents as it removes the uncertainty some of you were feeling after the April 20 ruling in the Theodore case. Know that things will continue as usual within our division for the foreseeable future. We will continue to provide the highest quality Catholic education in partnership with our families, church and community for anyone who chooses that for their children. We are proud of the education our Catholic schools provide, and we believe Catholic education matters!

I remind you to let your elected officials (the Minister of Education Don Morgan, Premier Brad Wall, and Leader of the NDP Trent Wotherspoon) know you endorse the government's actions to support parental choice in education and encourage them to also appeal the ruling. 

The government needs to hear from you directly. We encourage you to state your views in support of the appeal, through letters and emails, and send them to the following officials: 

Hon. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan 
Hon. Don Morgan, Minister of Education 
Mr. Trent Wotherspoon, Leader of the Official Opposition 
Ms. Colleen Young, Saskatchewan MLA, Lloydminster Constituency

For your reference, customizable sample letters are provided below in both PDF and Microsoft Word:
pdfSample Letter to Hon. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan 
docxSample Letter (Word) to Hon. Brad Wall.docx
pdfSample Letter to Hon. Don Morgan, Minister of Education 
docxSample Letter (Word) to Hon. Don Morgan.docx
pdfSample Letter to Mr. Trent Wotherspoon, Leader of the Official Opposition 
docxSample Letter (Word) to Mr. Trent Wotherspoon.docx
pdfSample Letter to Ms. Colleen Young, Saskatchewan MLA, Lloydminster Constituency
docxSample Letter (Word) to Ms. Colleen Young.docx

You can also email a prepared letter HERE.

Read the Government of Saskatchewan’s news release
Read the SCSBA news release announcing the appeal.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  
In Christ,
Paula Scott
Chair, Lloydminster Catholic School Divisions’ Board of Education

For more information please see the previous released information below:

 


Government Will Use Notwithstanding Clause to Protect School Choice for Parents and Students

Released on May 1, 2017
Move Will Set Aside Recent Court of Queen’s Bench Ruling

Premier Brad Wall today announced the government will protect school choice in Saskatchewan by invoking the notwithstanding clause of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The move comes in response to a recent Court of Queen’s Bench ruling that, if allowed to stand, would force about 10,000 non-Catholic students out of Catholic schools.  The ruling could also risk provincial funding of 26 other faith-based schools including Luther College, Regina Christian School, Saskatoon Christian School and Huda School.

“We support school choice including public, separate and faith-based schools,” Wall said.  “We will defend school choice for students and parents.  By invoking the notwithstanding clause we are protecting the rights of parents and students to choose the schools that work best for their families, regardless of their religious faith.”

Section 33 of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives provincial legislatures the authority to override certain portions of the Charter for a five year term.  Invoking the notwithstanding clause requires an Act of the Legislative Assembly.

“I have asked the Ministers of Education and Justice to begin preparing legislation to invoke the notwithstanding clause to protect choice in our school system,” Wall said.  “We wanted to announce this now to provide clarity and provide parents with the assurance that they will be able to continue to choose the kind of school they want their children to attend.”

The government’s action is in response to an April 20 Court of Queen’s Bench ruling on a legal challenge by the Good Spirit School Division of Christ the Teacher Catholic Schools’ right to receive provincial funding for non-Catholic students.  The Court ruled that the government must stop funding non-minority faith students to attend separate schools.

For more information, contact:

Kathy Young
Executive Council
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0425
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: 306-526-8927

 


Christ the Teacher Roman Catholic School Division appeals Theodore case ruling

The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) announced that an appeal of the recent decision in the Theodore court case will be filed on behalf of Christ the Teacher School Division.

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release – April 28, 2017 
Christ the Teacher Roman Catholic School Division appeals Theodore case ruling
The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) announced that an appeal of the recent decision in the Theodore court case will be filed on behalf of Christ the Teacher School Division. The decision to appeal has been unanimously endorsed by all eight Catholic school boards in the province. Although the case is specific to Christ the Teacher division, it affects all Catholic education in the province.

“The legal team representing Christ the Teacher School Division in this case has carefully reviewed the trial judge’s lengthy decision, and we believe that there are several strong grounds for appeal,” said SCSBA spokesperson Tom Fortosky.

“At its essence, the constitution provides the Catholic minority with the right to operate a school system in accordance with Catholic values and beliefs,” said Fortosky. “We believe that this includes the right to have an inclusive and welcoming admittance policy consistent with the church’s ecumenical efforts since the Second Vatican Council. This benefits the broader community as more parents have had the opportunity to exercise parental choice and choose a faith-based education for their children.”

The legal team feels that there were legal errors in finding that the Provincial Government has to discriminate on the basis of religion in its allocation of funding. The constitutional provision in section 17(2) expressly prohibits any such discrimination. They also believe that the trial judge erroneously interpreted several long-standing legal principles—as established by past decisions of the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada—related to the constitution.

Fortosky added, “We are fortunate that Saskatchewan has enjoyed a separate school system since our inception. Parents have obviously endorsed Catholic education by entrusting Catholic schools with the education of their children. And we’ll do everything we can to ensure that choice for faith-based education in Saskatchewan remains for future generations.”

 


Message from Paula Scott to LCSD Parents/Guardians on Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians of Lloydminster Catholic School Division students:
On April 20, 2017, Justice Donald Layh ruled on a court case (commonly known as the Theodore case) that the Government of Saskatchewan could no longer fund non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools in Saskatchewan, starting June 30, 2018. This ruling has raised many questions and created some degree of uncertainty for many students, parents, staff and other members of our Catholic school community.

 The two most common questions are:
·      What does this mean for my child’s/children’s education?
·      What can I do?

 Although there is no easy answer to the first question, we assure you that we remain a welcoming community, and our doors continue to be open to all families who choose a Catholic education for your children. The Lloydminster Catholic School Division shares the inclusionary beliefs held by the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association: “Catholic school divisions believe we have the right to decide to admit non-Catholic students and to determine the extent to which their admission allows us to maintain a truly authentic faith-based Catholic school system. Our faith is a journey that includes inquiry of non-Catholics and growth of existing members. This requires inclusion and a welcoming spirit.” This court case and decision is about funding only; it does not state that non-Catholics cannot attend Catholic schools. The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association has indicated that they have reviewed the details of the ruling and will appeal. It is important to note that the decision does not deny the constitutional rights for separate schools throughout Saskatchewan, including Lloydminster. Also, at this time, this ruling does not affect Alberta residents, Catholic or non-Catholic.

On April 24, both Premier Brad Wall and Education Minister Don Morgan publically stated their concern over the ruling and their support of parental choice. They are considering their legal options, including an appeal and invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We believe it is time to help our community leaders understand how important Catholic education is and to encourage their continued support. Many of you have expressed your endorsement of the government’s position and you want the government to pursue any measures necessary that will allow the continued funding of all students who choose Catholic education. This brings us to an answer for the question, “What can I do?”

The government needs to hear from you directly. We encourage you to state your views in support of the appeal, through letters and emails, and send them to the following officials: 

Hon. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan
Hon. Don Morgan, Minister of Education
Mr. Trent Wotherspoon, Leader of the Official Opposition
Ms. Colleen Young, Saskatchewan MLA, Lloydminster Constituency

For your reference, customizable sample letters are provided below in both PDF and Microsoft Word:
pdfSample Letter to Hon. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan
docxSample Letter (Word) to Hon. Brad Wall.docx
pdfSample Letter to Hon. Don Morgan, Minister of Education
docxSample Letter (Word) to Hon. Don Morgan.docx
pdfSample Letter to Mr. Trent Wotherspoon, Leader of the Official Opposition
docxSample Letter (Word) to Mr. Trent Wotherspoon.docx
pdfSample Letter to Ms. Colleen Young, Saskatchewan MLA, Lloydminster Constituency
docxSample Letter (Word) to Ms. Colleen Young.docx

As an additional option for providing your support, we have paper copies of these letters at all LCSD schools and our Division Office. If you would like, please stop by and sign, and we will gladly forward them on your behalf.  Lastly, you can also visit the SCSBA website and click, 'Click Here to Help': http://www.catholicedspirit.ca/

We thank you for your strong and continued support of Catholic education and ask for your prayers through this difficult situation.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Paula Scott, Board Chair
Lloydminster Roman Catholic Separate School Division #89
6611B 39 Street, Lloydminster, Alberta

For reference:
Background information on the case, Justice Layh’s decision and SCSBA’s initial response can be found at http://www.scsba.ca/theodore-case/

 


LCSD RELEASE RELATED TO THE THEODORE COURT CASE JUDGEMENT

For immediate release – April 21, 2017

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division is very disappointed to receive news regarding the recently reported future loss of funding for our non-Catholic Saskatchewan residents, which is intended to occur after the next school year ending, on June 30, 2018. LCSD will work with other school divisions and the province to determine direction following this decision. The good news is that this ruling will receive strong legal review at the provincial level, and our Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association will soon determine how to best continue to defend the constitutional rights of separate school divisions. (please see the SCSBA statement attached below) We will communicate decisions made regarding such defense, as they are made available to us.

LCSD shares our SCSBA’s inclusionary beliefs: “Catholic school divisions believe we have the right to decide to admit non-Catholic students and to determine the extent to which their admission allows us to maintain a truly authentic faith-based Catholic school system. Our faith is a journey that includes inquiry of non-Catholics and growth of existing members. This requires inclusion and a welcoming spirit.”

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division

 


Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association’s Media Release

SCSBA RELEASE RELATED TO THE THEODORE COURT CASE JUDGEMENT

For immediate release – April 20, 2017

The following is a statement from Tom Fortosky, a past president and spokesperson for Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association.

“We are obviously disappointed with Justice Layh’s decision. This greatly affects students and parents in Christ the Teacher School Division in particular, and families throughout the province. We’ll take some time to go over the 230-page decision, consult with our lawyers and process what this means for the division, for Catholic education in Saskatchewan and for the all of the families who choose Catholic education. This has already been a 12-year journey instigated by the public boards, and we don’t have much of an appetite to spend more on legal defence. However, we have an obligation to stand up for the constitutional rights of separate school divisions, so we are giving serious consideration to an appeal. In the event of an appeal, a final decision would be a long way down the road.”

We thank our concerned families and staff for their patience and support. We will post all important information we receive here and across all LCSD social media. Other information can be found on the SCSBA and Government of Saskatchewan websites.

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